The business was founded by metallurgist John Ulam, in 1967, as a manufacturer of bonded metals, including coinage for U.S. Mint, ballistics and avionics. The company was instrumental in the shift to bonded metal coins. The company's move to cookware happened by accident, when Ulam made a pan for his personal use. All-Clad Metalcrafters was established in 1971 to sell this cookware.Bloomingdale's picked up the brand two years later for its upscale housewares department. In 1988, the company was purchased by Pittsburgh Annealing Box Co., and was later bought by international company Groupe SEB in 2004.At the time of its founding, All-Clad distinguished itself from other cookware companies by using a patented "roll bonding" process by which metals are sandwiched together and then formed into a cooking vessel.